We bought an LCD TV from a company called TCL last year. It came with a standard two-year manufacturer’s warranty. Five months in, vertical black and purple lines appeared in the center of the display, and got worse as time went on. We sent the TCL repair center the broken TV, but they sent back a refurbished RCA TV with the same specs. The remote accompanying the new TV was damaged and had corroded batteries; there was no power cord for the TV, and no paperwork whatsoever. A few weeks have passed since we called TCL asking for a power cord, remote, and paperwork. I know warranties may allow companies to send refurbished units as a replacement, but the repair center sent a totally different brand with nothing else in the box. I’m not sure what to do!
—Andrea Glass, Beachwood, New Jersey
On Your Side responds: Glass received the missing power cable, remote, and manual for the refurbished RCA shortly after we began working on this case. But would the warranty apply to this RCA model?
A communications rep from TCL (which owns and operates RCA’s TV division) told us that technicians deemed Glass’s original TV unfixable, so the repair center sent her the refurbished RCA because it had the same specs. He stressed that her two-year manufacturer’s warranty is valid for the refurbished set.
If you encounter a similar problem, we recommend making persistent follow-up calls to clarify the fine print of the warranty. Also, keep track of the paper trail for each transaction. That way, if you have problems down the line, you’ll be able to produce copies of company statements and receipts to back up your claim.
Apple Offers Replacement MagSafe Power Adapters
Apple recently settled a class-action lawsuit after MacBook owners said that their T-shaped MagSafe charging cables were prone to fraying cords that were electrical fire hazards. More-recent MacBook models use a safer adapter, and Apple is now offering to replace users’ adapters for free if their cord is fraying near the MagSafe connector or if their laptop is charging intermittently, whether the adapter is in warranty or out of warranty.
If you have a faulty adapter, head to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or to an Apple Store for evaluation and replacement of the item. To submit a claim on a replacement adapter that you’ve already purchased, go to the settlement website and print out the form. You have three years from your date of purchase or until May 21, 2012, to submit your claim--whichever is later.